Hendry County seeing increase in COVID-19 patients, majority not vaccinated

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Credit: WINK News.

The number of coronavirus patients is up in at least two counties in Southwest Florida, and a health executive in one of them says low vaccination rates are a likely cause for the uptick.

In Hendry County, R.D. Williams, the CEO of Hendry Regional Medical Center in Clewiston, said the facility is seeing an increase in admissions for patients with COVID-19.

“Hendry has one of the lowest vaccination rates of any county in the state,” Williams said. “Less than 45% of our population over age 12 has been vaccinated.”

Williams said every one of the recent COVID-19 patients admitted to their facility has not been vaccinated.

“About two weeks ago, the State of Florida issued data talking about positivity of COVID tests in different counties, and Hendry County had the dubious distinction of being the only hot spot in the state,” Williams said.

Williams says if you can’t or won’t get vaccinated, you need to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands often.

This is especially important because the Florida Department of Health says the more contagious Delta variant is spreading in Florida. According to CDC data, it accounts for more than 13% of cases.

Lee Health also announced it’s dealing with nearly double the amount of hospitalized COVID-19 patients than in the previous weeks.

We also checked in with NCH Healthcare System and Bayfront Health. Both told us they are not seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases.

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